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(en) France, UCL AL #312 - Digital, Censorship: Force relationship (s) with Facebook (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

Date Sun, 24 Jan 2021 09:01:36 +0200

At the end of October, the independent media Reports de force was brutally and without warning, deleted from Facebook. Back on an episode which confirms many of our analyzes and should push us to go even further in " degafamisation ". ---- Links deleted, new publications refused: Thursday, October 15, Facebook violently hit the independent media Reports de force. This one, whose motto is " Info for social movements ", received no warning, no explanation, and simply suddenly discovered the situation, completely unjustified - it seems that it stems from a widely abusive reporting of a completely trivial article. ---- David versus Goliath ? ---- Dramatic situation if there is one: more than half of the daily traffic on the Balance of power website comes from Facebook and this traffic is vital. Financially, Relations de force relies solely on donations from its readership, and having as large a readership as possible is therefore really essential; To deprive itself of more than half of its audience by abandoning Facebook is apparently not an option[1].

So how do you establish a balance of power with one of the five biggest Big Tech companies? After public threats of legal action, Facebook took a (half) step back by re-authorizing the Balance of Power posts.

But the erased links have not been reestablished, and all the communication work of the last two years has therefore been reduced to nothing. Should the media victim of censorship go further and actually file a complaint, knowing that financially the litigation required to sacrifice half of the 2020 budget and that Facebook's army of overpaid lawyers would have probably won?? The editorial staff of Relations de force, although ready to fight, finally decided that it was not[2]. This difficult decision belongs to him.

As libertarian librists, we affirm that this news item (which is not one of them, and we can only deplore the absence of stronger support from the journalistic community in the face of what is without a shadow of 'doubt an infringement of press freedom) should not surprise anyone. These abuses of power by Facebook are not new and are logical: it is a capitalistic private enterprise, that the collective unconscious and Hollywood have perhaps transformed into a philanthropic public service, but whose one and only objective remains the accumulation. of profits.

And to do this, remaining on good terms with the leaders of the States and the big bosses is essential: hence the censorship of anti-capitalist Facebook pages, hence the censorship of media such as Relations of force, and hence also, it It must be admitted, the dissolution of vast Trumpist groups guilty of " false news " during the US election campaign[3].

Long live the alternative web !
Anti-Gafam activists have been sounding the alarm for years: to entrust our means of expression, access to knowledge, our working tools to these multinationals who have made monopoly a way of life and who do not care human rights and public freedoms, is a monumental and historical error.

It may not be too late to turn back. As we have already explained several times in this topic, the alternatives exist. Free, decentralized social networks, federated with each other through the fediverse[4], respectful of your private life exist. The Libertarian Communist Union awaits you on Mastodon, where Relations de force is now also[5], but also Diaspora, Peertube, Mobilizon !

Leo (UCL Lyon)


[1] " Our ousting from Facebook could mark the imminent end of Balance of Power ", Relations de force, October 22, 2020.

[2] "A half-victory in our dispute with Facebook " , Relations de force, November 30, 2020

[3] " Big Tech capitalists should not arbitrarily censor speeches that disturb them," pressrelease from the Libertarian Communist Union, November 27, 2020

[4] " Understanding the federiverse" , Alternative libertaire, December 2019

[5] " Facebook: Six Ways to Help Us Reduce Our Addiction, " Balance of Power, December 7, 2020.

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